Underdogs Who Won Big in Poker- Surprising Wins Revealed

Underdogs in Poker

The History of Triumphant Underdogs in Poker

The definition of an underdog in poker, is a player who is thought to have unfavourable mathematical odds for winning a pot.  Being dealt a poor hand can happen to anyone, but getting out of the predicament is what shows a truly skilled player.  Underdogs also have a nothing to lose attitude, which can help in turning the tables on their opponents regardless of the hand they have been dealt.  Here are a few examples of underdogs who beat the odds in poker in history.

  1. Jack Straus

Jack “Treetop” Straus was a professional poker player, and a true gambler in every sense, in that he bet most things, in particular sports, and including his own golf game.  He was known for his skill as a poker player, but he was also known to be fearless a trait which no doubt helped him become famous for one of the most legendary underdog comebacks in a World Series of Poker final.

Jack Strauss was already well known as a professional poker player, and in 1981, he came second in the main event at the WSOP against Johnny Moss, so he was no stranger to competition.  However, in 1982, whilst playing at one of the earlier games in the tournament, Strauss miscalculated a bluff he had made, and as it transpired his hand was second.  He was almost eliminated from the competition, but noticed a stray chip under a napkin on the table, that he had not yet bet.  He was allowed to play on that single chip, and doubled on the next hand to launch a highly unexpected comeback which resulted in him winning the main event the following day.  Superstitious players would say that lady luck was on his side, but Jack Strauss never showed any interest in lucky charms or rituals, as so many other poker players had in the past.

Jack Straus was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame on the back of that underdog victory, and the poker phrase “chip and a chair” was coined after that meaning as long as you still have a chip with which to play, and a chair at the table, you are not yet dead in the water.

  1. Olivier Busquet

Olivier Busquet is a New York born and bred professional poker player, known his aggressive style of play for and a nail biting comeback in the 2009 World Poker Tour.  Busquet had faced a large field, and looked set to win in at the beginning of the final round.  Naturally anything can happen in poker, and his opponent Jeremy Brown, found himself having an amazing run taking down pot after pot, as other players retired from the table.  By the time it was just Busquet and Brown facing each other in the final, Busquet was down 20:1 in chips, so victory seemed impossible, but the “chip and a chair phrase prevailed”, and unbelievably he fought back, chipping away at his opponent to finally emerge victorious, $926 thousand richer, and responsible for an underdog comeback that reporters at the event described as something that “had to be seen to be believed”.  He was luckier than a jackpot winner at one of the top mobile casino Canada sites, and he remains a true poker legend today.

  1. Greg Merson

Greg Merson is predominantly an online poker player that has been lauded as a modern-day Jack Straus due to a comeback he made in the 2012 WSOP.  On day 5 Greg was down to 50000 chips (which is less than 3 large binds), but using his online expertise in short-handed play, he consistently doubled up on bets, and battled his way through to end up accumulating just shy of a million that day.  He went on to win the tournament the following day after a further 12 hours of gruelling play, but emerged $8 million richer, and having earned the respect of a world champion.

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The History of Triumphant Underdogs in Poker

The definition of an underdog in poker, is a player who is thought to have unfavourable mathematical odds for winning a pot.  Being dealt a poor hand can happen to anyone, but getting out of the predicament is what shows a truly skilled player.  Underdogs also have a nothing to lose attitude, which can help in turning the tables on their opponents regardless of the hand they have been dealt.  Here are a few examples of underdogs who beat the odds in poker in history.

  1. Jack Straus

Jack “Treetop” Straus was a professional poker player, and a true gambler in every sense, in that he bet most things, in particular sports, and including his own golf game.  He was known for his skill as a poker player, but he was also known to be fearless a trait which no doubt helped him become famous for one of the most legendary underdog comebacks in a World Series of Poker final.

Jack Strauss was already well known as a professional poker player, and in 1981, he came second in the main event at the WSOP against Johnny Moss, so he was no stranger to competition.  However, in 1982, whilst playing at one of the earlier games in the tournament, Strauss miscalculated a bluff he had made, and as it transpired his hand was second.  He was almost eliminated from the competition, but noticed a stray chip under a napkin on the table, that he had not yet bet.  He was allowed to play on that single chip, and doubled on the next hand to launch a highly unexpected comeback which resulted in him winning the main event the following day.  Superstitious players would say that lady luck was on his side, but Jack Strauss never showed any interest in lucky charms or rituals, as so many other poker players had in the past.

Jack Straus was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame on the back of that underdog victory, and the poker phrase “chip and a chair” was coined after that meaning as long as you still have a chip with which to play, and a chair at the table, you are not yet dead in the water.

  1. Olivier Busquet

Olivier Busquet is a New York born and bred professional poker player, known his aggressive style of play for and a nail biting comeback in the 2009 World Poker Tour.  Busquet had faced a large field, and looked set to win in at the beginning of the final round.  Naturally anything can happen in poker, and his opponent Jeremy Brown, found himself having an amazing run taking down pot after pot, as other players retired from the table.  By the time it was just Busquet and Brown facing each other in the final, Busquet was down 20:1 in chips, so victory seemed impossible, but the “chip and a chair phrase prevailed”, and unbelievably he fought back, chipping away at his opponent to finally emerge victorious, $926 thousand richer, and responsible for an underdog comeback that reporters at the event described as something that “had to be seen to be believed”.  He was luckier than a jackpot winner at one of the top mobile casino Canada sites, and he remains a true poker legend today.

  1. Greg Merson

Greg Merson is predominantly an online poker player that has been lauded as a modern-day Jack Straus due to a comeback he made in the 2012 WSOP.  On day 5 Greg was down to 50000 chips (which is less than 3 large binds), but using his online expertise in short-handed play, he consistently doubled up on bets, and battled his way through to end up accumulating just shy of a million that day.  He went on to win the tournament the following day after a further 12 hours of gruelling play, but emerged $8 million richer, and having earned the respect of a world champion.

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